My name is Nikalas Cook and I'm a freelance writer, having contributed to a number of publications including the Times Body and Soul, Times Online Travel, Daily Mail Lifestyle, FT, Derbyshire Life, Ultra-Fit (Features Editor), GQ, 220 Triathlon, Cycling Plus and Runners World. Specialising in health/fitness, adventure sports and travel, I live in the Dark Peak at the foot of Kinder Scout and am a keen fell runner, mountain biker, road cyclist and triathlete.
What am I planning on doing?
In March next year I'll be taking part in the Rock and Ice Diamond Ultra http://www.rockandiceultra.com/ . Known as the "other desert race" it's acknowledged to be even tougher than the Marathon des Sables that I completed in 2000.
Covering 225km in six stages I'll be battling against temperatures as low as -40C, deep snow and having to drag all my food and equipment behind me in a pulk. To see a short film about the race go to:
I wanted a challenge to focus on and, having already completed the Marathon des Sables and the Himalayan 100, I fancied another ultra stage-race. Last year, as the basis of a series of articles for 220 Triathlon, I was professionally coached to my full potential with the Powerman Malaysia Duathlon as the end goal. The year went fantastically and, although I managed a performance that qualified me for the World Championships, the heat and humidity really limited me. With that in mind and, not just wanting to go and take part but to also compete, I was drawn to the Rock and Ice. I figured that having to tow the pulk would suit my 6ft 3" ex rugby-player frame and I've always been ok in the cold. With that slightly spurious reasoning, and a desperate desire to see the Aurora Borealis, I signed up for the event.
I'll also be raising money for two charities:
The first is Lupus UK http://www.lupusuk.org.uk/ . My Mother suffers from a variant of this disease and, the fact that for her to simply get a concrete diagnosis took years, shows how little is known and how much research needs to be done.
The second is the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team http://www.kmrt.org.uk/ . Kinder Mountain Rescue Team provides a search and rescue service in the hills and moorlands of the Peak District. In addition the team is increasingly called upon to assist police in non-mountain searches. The team is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the blog I'll be logging my training, relating my highs and lows as I prepare for the race, reviewing kit/equipment, reporting on races that I take part in and probably going off on occasional random tangents. It'll hopefully motivate me, help with my fundraising and provide some interesting and informative material for PlanetFear visitors.
If you want to sponsor me go to
To contact me e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org